Uefa plans September presidency election

Uefa will hold an election for a new president on September 14th in Athens after Michel Platini quit over an ethics scandal with football's world governing body Fifa.

Uefa plans September presidency election
Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP

Dutch FA president Michel Van Praag became the first official candidate but others could follow.
Angel Maria Villar of Spain, UEFA's senior vice president who will present the European Championship trophy on July 10th, and Slovenian football chief Aleksander Ceferin are also considered probable contenders.
Uefa's executive decided at a meeting in Basel on Wednesday — where Liverpool lost to Sevilla in the Europa League final — to hold the election in Athens in September rather than rush into a vote before the European Championship finals.
Platini is banned from any official capacity at Euro 2016 because of the four-year ban imposed over a suspect $2 million payment he received from Fifa in 2011.
The Frenchman announced he would quit on May 9th after losing an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Platini said in a statement released on Wednesday that he wanted to “formally resign” before Uefa's 55 national associations at the Athens congress in September when his successor is chosen.
“I want to leave by telling them, face to face, that I never cheated on their trust, nor failed in my duty and my values,” the former French football legend said in the statement.
Uefa's acting general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said that because of his Fifa suspension, Platini could be barred from any official function at Euro 2016, to be held in his native France from June 10th to July 10th.
Theodoridis said Uefa would have to check with Fifa on Platini's status.
Asked if Uefa could invite Platini to the tournament, Theodoridis responded: “I never said we're inviting or not inviting (him). But we have to clarify what we can do and what we cannot do. Any decision will follow, and it's not mine.”
Candidates will have until July 20th to put themselves forward for the Uefa presidency.
On top of Van Praag, Villar and Ceferin, Portugal's football association chief Fernando Gomes is also a possible candidate.
Villar, a former Athletic Bilbao player turned lawyer, has taken a prominent role in Uefa since Platini's suspension.
But he was warned and fined $25,000 by Fifa in November for his failure to cooperate with an inquiry into the bidding for the 2018 World Cup awarded to Russia and 2022 tournament to be held in Qatar.
Van Praag, a long-time president of the Royal Dutch Football Federation, stood against Sepp Blatter for the Fifa presidency in May last year but withdrew before voting started.
He said that if elected he would complete the two and half years left in Platini's term before handing over to a new president.

The 68-year-old Van Praag said he “wanted to steer Uefa into calmer waters… and pave the way for a new president”.

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Trial over 2006 German World Cup corruption opens in Switzerland

Three former German football officials and ex-FIFA Secretary General Urs Linsi went on trial on Monday in Switzerland over suspicions that Germany bought votes to obtain the 2006 World Cup.

Trial over 2006 German World Cup corruption opens in Switzerland

The three defendants have indicated that they will not be present at the hearing in Bellinzona for a variety of reasons, including fear of travelling because of coronavirus contagion.

Swiss Linsi, 70, former German Football Association (DFB) presidents Wolfgang Niersbach, 69, and Theo Zwanziger, 74, and 78-year-old former DFB General Secretary Horst R. Schmidt are being prosecuted for “fraud”.

They are accused by the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office (BA) of concealing from the DFB the true destination of a transfer of 6.7 million euros ($7.6 million today), paid in 2005 by the organising committee to former Adidas boss, the late Robert Louis-Dreyfus, via FIFA.

The case of former World Cup organising committee chairman Franz Beckenbauer is being heard separately because of the former Germany captain's poor health.

The investigation was prompted by a report in German publication Der Spiegel in 2015 that Germany had used a secret fund of 10 million Swiss francs (6.7 million euros at the time) to buy votes and obtain the rights to host the competition at the expense of South Africa.

Beckenbauer is suspected of having asked Louis-Dreyfus, to contribute to this fund shortly before the vote on the host in the summer of 2000.

Louis-Dreyfus was allegedly reimbursed by the German Football Association on the pretext of expenses related to a FIFA gala evening, which ever took place.

Zwanziger, Niersbach and Schmidt have also been charged with tax fraud in Germany and the case is expected to come to trial in the coming months. cpb/pb/td